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Riverside Resident Organizes Dinner For Homeless

GREENWICH, Conn. — Eileen Marks of Greenwich is organizing a pot luck dinner this month, and everyone is invited.

It’s all part of a meal program for individuals and families served by Inspirica , a Stamford shelter that provides housing and guidance to the homeless. The first Friday of each month, Marks gathers fellow community members to donate food and serve dinner at St. Catherine of Siena Church in Riverside.

“I usually send out an email to everyone I know and describe the mission of Inspirica, which is to serve a nice meal to 25 people,” she said.

To prepare for the next dinner Friday, Aug. 3, Marks will ask her volunteers to donate a portion of the meal, which might include juice or water, a main entree, a side of vegetables and dessert. Rotisserie chickens from Costco are a popular item, she said.

Marks will then help serve the meal, and she encourages others to do the same. At most events, she said she brings her children, which has been instrumental in fostering their desire to help those less fortunate. They have also gotten to know many of the regular attendees, who they have come to realize are not much different from them.

This became evident, Marks said, when she and her family met a man in his early 20s at St. Catherine of Siena. Now homeless, he graduated from Darien High School, where he was voted “Most Likely to Succeed.” The man didn’t appear homeless at first glance, which resonated with her teenage children, she said.

“You might hit a bump in the road and that’s OK,” Marks said. “He came to Inspirica because he needed to regroup and find a new path.”

To volunteer or to donate to Inspirica’s meal program at St. Catherine of Siena Church, contact Eileen Marks by email at ermarks@optonline.net .

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